Ann Farabee: One another
The decision to drop everything and go to the worship conference came very easily. New York City. Brooklyn Tabernacle. The pastor, Jim Cymbala, was the author of my favorite book, Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, which always spoke to my heart.
What spoke most loudly to my heart was pages 59-66, where his family had experienced a dark two-and-half-year tunnel, as their 16-year-old daughter, Chrissy, had strayed from her Christian faith and ended up leaving home. Even this great family of faith faced a dark abyss and did not always feel like pillars of strength during the struggle.
But victory came through the prayers of their congregation and by clinging to Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.”
As excited as I was about the trip, something very unsettling had been going on with a family member at home, and I could not get it off my mind. I allowed fear to creep in, and being away from home made it more difficult.
Even though the cloud of worry stayed with me throughout the weekend, I ended up truly enjoying everything about the city and the conference. Plus, right before we headed for the airport, I was able to get my copy of the book autographed by Jim Cymbala and Chrissy.
Once we arrived at our airport departure area, a lady that had gone with us that I barely knew, smilingly plopped down in the seat beside me and boldly exclaimed, “I had a super time, but I sure will be glad to get home to my dysfunctional family.”
I looked around to see if anyone else was listening, and momentarily froze to let her words sink in. I know my expression must have spoken volumes, as I cut my eyes over toward her, and asked, “YOUR dysfunctional family?”
She began to elaborate about family concerns from home that she had felt burdened with during the trip. By allowing me to get a glimpse into her life, I felt comfort about my situation. We shared some laughs, exchanged some stories, and then decided that right then and there, we needed to dial God’s phone number, which is Jeremiah-333. Call unto Him. He will answer.
So…we called. And…He answered.
It felt like the shortest airport wait ever.
I wish we had talked to each other earlier in the trip.
Everything was fine when we both got home.
We shouldn’t have worried.
I made a new friend.
It’s not just me. It’s not just you. Everyone has problems.
If we could only read one another’s minds, I think we would realize that others suffer as we do, others hurt as we do, others worry as we do, and others have imperfect lives as we do.
If we begin to understand that about one another, there may be more compassion. There may be more kindness. There may be more encouragement. Actually, the list of the may bes may be a lengthy one.
God’s Word tells us to love one another, encourage one another, build up one another, be kind to one another, and serve one another.
On this day, her “one another” was me. That one small comment giving me insight into her heart, followed by our time of bearing one another’s burdens, sure did help to encourage me.
Love how God works? Me, too.
So… who is your “one another” for today going to be?